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Monthly Archives: February 2010

SACHIN Tendulkar became the first player in history yesterday to score 200 runs in an O.D.I match playing against South Africa in Gwalior.

The Indian legend reached the promised land in just 147 balls, hitting 25 4s and three 6s. India scored a massive 401-3 of their 50 overs, and beat South Africa by 153 runs.

The previous record was 194 not out, held by Charles Coventry of Zimbabwe.

This was one of the last remaining milestones in international cricket. The only ones left now that I can think of are a team scoring 450 in an O.D.I and a team scoring 1,000 runs in an innings.

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WITH the new Formula 1 season less than a month away, I felt like posting something that I have been working on for a while. Every F1 fan has one, and this is mine. My ideal F1 calendar. I have made myself one rule though. One race must be on each of the six habited continents and the Middle East, but asides from that, it’s no holds barred.

  • Round 1 – South Africa @ Kyalami (67-85)
  • Round 2 – Australia @ Adelaide
  • Round 3 – Mexico @ Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez (60s)
  • Round 4 – U.S.A. @ Laguna Seca
  • Round 5 – Canada @ Gilles Villeneuve
  • Round 6 – Turkey @ Istanbul Park
  • Round 7 – Monaco @ Monte-Carlo (Original)
  • Round 8 – France @ Le Mans (32-67)
  • Round 9 – Great Britain @ Brooklands (Outer)
  • Round 10 – Europe @ Brands Hatch (GP)
  • Round 11 – Netherlands @ Zandvoort (Old)
  • Round 12 – Germany @ Nürburgring Nordschleife (Old)
  • Round 13 – Austria @ Österreichring (Old)
  • Round 14 – Belgium @ Spa-Francorchamps (Old Post War)
  • Round 15 – Italy @ Monza (Banked)
  • Round 16 – Spain @ Jerez
  • Round 17 – Portugal @ Estoril
  • Round 18 – Japan @ Suzuka
  • Round 19 – Brazil @ Jacarepaguá

Are there any races or tracks that you have that I don’t? I’d love to compare calendars with you. 🙂

JAMIE McMurray won last night’s Daytona 500 in thrilling fashion.

The race was eventful throughout, with its first accident happening on just lap 8. However the race will be remembered for two long stoppages due to the track breaking up in between turns 1 and 2. A large pothole is not what you want to hit when you and over 30 cars around you are doing 180mph+. The first repair took place on lap 122 and the cars were lined up in the pits for over an hour and 40 minutes. They were back in the pits for a further 45 minutes on lap 161. The last time Daytona was resurfaced was 1978. I think they are going to relay it in 2011. Personally, I think they should have done it already.

The last 39 laps were packed full of tactical battles, and crashes on laps 194 and 198. In the past, if the Safety Car was out on the last lap (200), the race would finish and everyone went home slightly disappointed. But now, NASCAR has introduced the “green-white-checker finish”.

Under this rule, if the last lap is not completed at racing speed, the Safety Car remains out until the track is safe, then the drivers are let loose for two laps to try and get a full speed finish. If a crash occurs on the first lap, the Safety Car is brought back out and the race distance is reset to two laps to go, then when safe, they go again. This can happen three times. If on the third restart a crash happens on the first laps, the race is called as it is. But if they get onto the second and last lap, they race to the finish regardless if there is a crash or not. It is like an Extra-Time period in Motorsport.

Last night this is what happened. The first GWC restart had a first lap crash, so everyone lined up again for another go. In the second GWC restart Jamie McMurray (No. 1) took the lead halfway around the first lap and held off a charging Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88) to win the biggest race in NASCAR. There was a crash on the last corner, but the race was already over.

The race was over six hours long (finishing at gone midnight our time), ran for 20 more miles than it should have done, saw 50 lead changes including old F1 boys Juan Pablo Montoya and Scott Speed taking turns up the front. But the end was so exciting it was worth all of the interruptions.

I have just head / read of the death of Georgian Luge competitor Nodar Kumaritashvili.

He was on his last training run for his first Olympics when on the last corner, his sled flipped, sending him flying into a steel pole. Paramedics tried to save him, and he was taken to a local hospital, but his injuries were too grave.

He was just 21.

I’ll try and write a better blog about him later on, but I’m too upset to write right now. I actually cried a little for him, a man who I didn’t know from Adam less than 30 minutes ago. Strange that isn’t it.

Yes I accept that these things do happen. But not at the games. Not at the games. 😦

The New Orleans Saints won their very first Super Bowl with a 31-17 win over the Indianapolis Colts in Miami Florida. At the end of the first quarter, the Colts led 10-0. By half-time the Saints had pulled it back to 10-6. The players and fans then enjoyed a halt-time medley from The Who which consisted of their hit songs: Pinball Wizard, Baba O’Riley, Who Are You, See Me Feel Me and Won’t Get Fooled Again. After the end of the third quarter, the Saints had closed the match to a 17-16 Colts lead. But something must have been in the Saints’ oranges or whatever they have during a break in America, because they scored 15 unanswered points in the last quarter to win the match 31-17 and claim their first American and technically world championship.

After what the city of New Orleans went through in 2005 with what Hurricane Katrina did to it and its people, they deserve to have one of the biggest boosts in the states. My congratulations to the Saints, but the 49ers will be out to take your crown away from you next season.

I would have posted the above last night. However the internet wasn’t working for me. This was actually a blessing in disguise because I can add this extra piece to my Super Bowl summary.

Super Bowl XLIV was watched by at total of 106.5 million Americans. That means that M*A*S*H’s last ever episode, ‘Goodbye, Farewell and Amen’ losses the record for most watched single TV programme. The series finale of in my opinion the greatest television programme ever made, was watched by 105.9 million people when it was first broadcast on 28th February 1983. However, if you take into account the audience share percentage of the pair, M*A*S*H blows the Super Bowl out of the water. ‘Goodbye, Farewell and Amen’ received an audience share of 77%, whereas the Bowl received only 68%. The 42nd (1970) Academy Awards holds this particular record with a 78% audience share.

Incidentally, the records for most watched British TV broadcast for an episode and one-off event are, the EastEnders episode where Den divorces Angie (30.15 million), and the 1966 World Cup final (32.30 million) respectively.

Globally, nobody can really be sure, but it is probably the funeral of Princess Diana, which attracted a global audience of around 2.5 billion people.

NOS Quarterback Drew Brees with the Vince Lombardi Trophy

 

England will play Wales in Euro 2012 qualifying group G. We will also have to play: Switzerland, Bulgaria and Montenegro. I believe that this is one of the easiest groups that we could get. Our world ranking at the moment is 9. Whereas Switzerland are ranked 18th, Bulgaria 30th, Montenegro 72nd and Wales 76th. The first games will be played in early September and the last in October 2011.

The Logo

Yesterdays Merseyside derby fight/football match saw Liverpool beat Everton 1-0. 😀 Both sides finished with 10 men and we were lucky that none of our players suffered any serious injuries. Dirk Kuyt was knocked to the ground, and big haired Marouane Fellaini decided it would be a good idea to kick the ball at his face from point-blank range, and to follow through with his foot. Fellaini was then taken off injured after our man Sotirios Kyrgiakos took him out. But he was then sent off, despite Fellaini making him need stitches in his foot. Tim Cahill missed a sitter just before the end of the first half that 99 times out of 100 he would put in. In the 55th minute, Kuyt headed in a corner from 3 yards out. You can see the mark Fellaini left on his face in the picture below. In stoppage time, Everton’s Steven Pienaar got what he deserved when he was sent off for a second bookable offence after he sent Steven Gerrard tumbling. He should have gone in the first half after he nearly broken Javier Mascherano’s leg. Fortunately, it was just his shin guard which snapped.

See Kuyt’s bruise by clicking here –> http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/8500212.stm

The first game of this year’s six nations was won by reigning champions Ireland. They beat Italy by 29 points to 11 at Croke Park. I watched England vs. Wales on the telly last night and as usual with the six nations, I got slightly carried away. Whenever we scored a try I went mad, and when Wales scored their try to pull it back to just a five point gap, some of the things I was shouting weren’t very PC at all. Both teams weren’t at their best, with numerous kicking, throwing and passing errors. When Wales had a man in the sin-bin, England took full advantage and ran in two converted tires. England triumphed by a 30-17 score line and next play Italy in Rome. PS: France beat Scotland 18-9.

The New Orleans Saints take on the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl 44 tonight in Florida. It is rather fitting that the two best teams in America this season are in the Super Bowl this year, with 13-3 and 14-2 league records respectively. The Colts are looking for their third win, their last was in the 2006/07 season in Florida, so their omens are good. The Saints are by contrast making their maiden Super Bowl appearance. My blog tomorrow will feature the match, and hopefully have some videos of the famed half-time show, this year being put on by The Who.

South Africa are currently on tour in India and loving it. At the close of play on the second day of the first Test, India are 25-0 and chasing South Africa’s huge total of 558-6d. Kallis and Amla put on 340 runs for the third wicket, scoring 173 and 253 not-out respectively.

And finally, Tennis’s wonder mum Kim Clijsters – along with daughter Jada – have been immortalised as Barbie dolls. The unique dolls were unveiled on the opening day of the Nuremberg toy fair, the largest toy fair in the world. The dolls are based on the moment when little Jada walked onto the court after her mum had won last year’s US Open. I can’t see Andy Murray becoming a Ken though.

Kim & Jada Clijsters at the US Open

Kim & Jada as Barbies

Sunday lunch time sees the draw for the qualifying rounds for the 2012 European Championships in Poland and Ukraine. The draw itself in Warsaw consists of 51 teams being split into six groups of six and three groups of five. As host nations, Poland and Ukraine are automatic qualifiers. For political reasons, UEFA will not allow Armenia and Azerbaijan to be in the same group as they dispute the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. And due to the war over South Ossetia, Georgia will not play Russia.

My predictions for England are as follows. If we are drawn in a group of six teams, it will be: England, Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Belgium, Iceland & Malta GC. If we are in a group of five, it will be: England, Greece, Austria, Cyprus & Georgia.

The winners of each group advance to the finals directly, as do the second place team who have the best record against the: first, third, fourth and fifth teams in their groups. The remaining eight second placed teams play-off against another second placed team, and the winner of the tie advances. This will be the last Euro with just 16 teams.  The number of teams in Euro 2016 will increase to 24. Currently Turkey, France and Italy are bidding to host the tournament.

I’ll have more on Sunday for you. 😉

Formula 1 has again changed its point scoring system. The top 10 drivers still score points, but how many has now altered. It now goes: 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1. The top 3 drivers were originally going to score: 25-20-15, but that is no different in the gap between the points as: 10-8-6 was.

The first race of the year in Bahrain will be run on an even longer track layout. The F1 cars will race on the endurance circuit, making the lap now 6.299 Km (3.914 mi) long. This means the race will now be run over just 49 laps, making it the second longest track of the season behind Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps.

The newish Bahrain track layout

Nick Heidfeld has been named as Mercedes’ test driver for this season. This makes it even more likely that he is never going to win a Grand Prix. He has 167 starts to his name, and has scored a record 219 points without a win. The driver with the most winless starts in history is Italian Andrea de Cesaris with 208.

Also, from now on the drivers who make it to the third part of qualifying must now start the race on the tyres they qualified on. Nothing like shaking it up is there?

And finally in this section, 1992 F1 World Champion and 1993 CART World Series Champion Nigel Mansell has said that he and his sons Greg and Leo all hope to compete together as ‘Team Mansell’ at this year’s Le Mans 24 hour race. Mansell, 56, will race in his first Le Mans if his team’s application is accepted. He has stated that he and his sons also want to race in September’s Silverstone 1,000Km race. The car has to be No.5, it just has to be.

In Rugby Union, the 6 Nations begins on Saturday with Ireland vs. Italy and England vs. Wales. Ireland won the Grand Slam last year, and will be hoping to be the first team to win back to back Grand Slams since Italy were included in 2000. I like the 6 Nations because you feel this sense of national pride that you just don’t get with football. Probably because we are playing the home nations and France and Italy. COME ON ENGLAND!

To worlds far beyond our own now. Dwarf Planet Pluto has astounded astronomers by turning redder. This is probably due to seasonal changes taking place on it. Pictures taken by the Hubble Space Telescope have shown a significant change in colour than in previous snaps. The New Horizons probe is currently on its way to Pluto, and will fly by it and fly by it and its moons: Charon, Hydra and Nix on the 14th July 2015. After this momentous fly by (Pluto has never been seen up close before), New Horizons will fly into and out of the Kuiper Belt and ultimately leave the Solar System in 2029.

At the first F1 test of the year, it took Michael Schumacher just 20 laps to beat team-mates Nico Rosberg’s fastest lap around the Valencia circuit. Rosberg’s best time of 1:13.543 was well of his seven-times World Champion team-mates’ 1:12.947. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was fastest with a lap time of 1:12.574, and Sauber’s de la Rosa was second with a 1:12.784. Schumacher was third.

I’m going to leave all of the new cars for this seasons’ picture until nearer the Bahrain Grand Prix, since it is too much of a hassle to keep doing it so soon after the launch and the pictures not being on the net.

Now let’s forget about all the pop singers and rappers at the Grammys and concentrate on the real music shall we. Neil Young won the ‘MusiCares Person of the Year’ :-). To get this award, one must have made a significant and lasting contribution to music, and also be involved in charity works and philanthropy. Past winners of this award include Sir Elton John and Luciano Pavarotti. Bruce Springsteen (THE BOSS!) won the Grammy for ‘Best Rock Solo Vocal Performance’ – his 20th Grammy – for his beautiful song ‘Working on a Dream’ from his 2009 album of the same name. 😀

Springsteen & Young

 

What else can you say except for the fact that they are fantastic?